A roundup of local and international news.
CANDIDACIES – Some 47 Romanians residing in Italy requested and received the necessary certificates to run in the local elections in that country, the Romanian Permanent Election Authority has announced. According to a release, the permits confirm the fact that, in the Romanian authorities’ records, these people have the right to run in the elections as there is no Court ruling preventing them from doing so. Out of the 47 potential candidates, 39 are women and 8 are men.
MEETINGS - Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu is attending on Wednesday and Thursday in New York two meetings on global food security, initiated by the US, which this month holds the presidency of the UN Security Council. Attending are representatives of the countries most affected by the food crisis and of countries which, like Romania, can contribute to the consolidation of security in the field.
MOLDOVA – In a speech delivered before the European Parliament on Wednesday, Moldovan President Maia Sandu called on the EU countries to support Moldova’s European aspirations. She emphasised, in her speech, the way in which the invasion of Ukraine by Russia reminds of Europe’s worrying past, with geopolitical conquests and spheres of influence. She also reminded the way in which Moldova and its citizens reacted to the shock, agony and uncertainty of war with kindness, generosity and compassion by hosting a large number of refugees and offering Ukraine humanitarian support. On March 3, 2022, Moldova submitted a formal application for European Union membership, a decision that followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In a resolution adopted on May 5, the European Parliament welcomed Moldova's formal EU membership application and said the EU should grant it candidate status.
OFFSHORE LAW - The Chamber of Deputies in Bucharest on Wednesday adopted the draft law amending the Offshore Law. With 248 votes in favour and 34 votes against, the new law will allow the exploitation of natural gas deposits in the Black Sea. Whereas the ruling coalition made up of PSD, PNL and UDMR supported the new law, arguing it safeguards Romania's energy security, AUR, a nationalist opposition party, criticized the law, claiming it provides benefits without any sanctions for investors. Energy Minister Virgil Popescu says the exploitation works in the Black Sea will produce more natural gas than Romania can consume, saying that the additional revenues obtained as a result should be directed towards investment.
NATO - Finland and Sweden submitted on Wednesday their formal applications to join NATO. On Thursday, Sweden's Prime Minister, Magdalena Andresson and Finland's president, Sauli Niinisto will travel to Washington to meet US president Joe Biden. Amidst Russia's continuous threats regarding reprisals in the event of the two countries' NATO accession, the main obstacle seems to come from within NATO itself. Turkey, whose vote is essential to officially make Sweden and Finland NATO members is against the move, blaming the two countries for refusing its requests to extradite persons whom Turkey believes to be members of "terrorist organizations", such as the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), as well as for suspending weapon exports to Turkey. Analysts believe Turkey is trying to gain leverage for voting in favour of the two countries' NATO accession, such as lifting the USA's refusal to sell F-35 fighter jets to Ankara.
WAGE - The Government passed on Wednesday an emergency decree allowing employers to operate a tax-free increase in the minimum wage. The measure will take effect starting June 1 and is part of the "Support for Romania" package, designed to combat the negative effects of the price hikes. Workers with full-time individual employment agreements are eligible for the wage increase, as well as people who are hired over June 1 - December 31, 2022. Basically, employees can opt to increase the minimum wage from 510 to 550 Euro. Also on Wednesday, the Government passed a decree granting 3,000 passenger and freight road transporters fuel subsidies worth 60 million euro to cover the increase in the fuel price.
ICJ - Romania has decided to intervene in Ukraine's favor at the UN International Court of Justice in the legal action launched against the Russian Federation, the Romanian Foreign Ministry announced on Wednesday. On February 26, 2022, Ukraine filed a suit against the Russian Federation at the ICJ, regarding the interpretation, enforcement and compliance with the obligations stipulated in the 1948 Genocide Convention. According to the Foreign Ministry, Ukraine claimed the Russian Federation has falsely reported genocide in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions in order to justify the recognition of the self-proclaimed People's Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, as well as to carry out a special military operation against Ukraine. Based on these false allegations, the Russian Federation is to date engaged in a military invasion of Ukraine, with serious and large-scale effects on human rights and humanitarian international law, the Romanian Foreign Ministry also said. (EE)